Sitting back and listening to the excitement over the St. Louis IKEA opening this Wednesday I find myself in awe of a company which can turn an entire city upside down. It's like IKEA coming to St. Louis has everyone believing we're finally a real city. The topper was found in Sunday's Post-Dispatch, detailing the traffic control plans in place for Wednesday.
IKEA opens at 9 a.m. and 1000's of people are expected. "The new Ikea offers more than 1,300 parking spaces, of which 536 are under the store. And the store says it has an additional 1,200 adjacent spaces available for at least three weeks after its opening just west of Ikea on land owned by Cortex but not yet developed.
If those spots fill up, drivers will be rerouted to the Harris-Stowe parking lot across from Chaifetz Arena, about a mile away, and taken by shuttle to and from the store. So that’s another 750 free parking spaces."
Ok. That's parking. Good luck. What you may have missed is the fact that a certain number of the first in line will get anything from a free couch or chair to other stuff. IKEA will allow lines to form beginning Monday (that's today). So do these early line sitters get to use the parking spaces two days early?
What about traffic much less parking? IKEA is right up there against Highway 40/64 at Vandeventer. Well, here's the outlook from St. Louis traffic people. "
Backups and ramp closures could extend to Highway 40 (Interstate 64), where Missouri Department of Transportation signs will warn of any congestion and guide traffic.
The ramp closures will be on an as-needed basis, determined by police, to prevent traffic from backing up on the exit ramp and blocking the interstate, MoDOT said.
Ramps will reopen once the backup on the ramp has cleared — similar to what happens on the Hampton exit into Forest Park on weekend days with pleasant weather."
Ah, but the store will also provide 20 bike racks each of which hold 2 bikes for those who want to travel that way. But that must be just for people wanting to merely walk around the store for fun, it would be hard to haul an IKEA bookshelf home on a bike.
Barnes Jewish hospital and SLU will be enforcing their permit only parking in their parking garages.
Craziness. But so much fun to watch unfold.